Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Legislature to convene next week for veto override session, ex-Honolulu official to be sentenced in embezzling case today, job vacancies go unfilled despite high unemployment rate, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii state Capitol ©2021 All Hawaii News

House Speaker: Lawmakers Will Return To The Capitol July 6. Scott Saiki says he’s unsure if there will be any veto overrides, but Hawaii legislators need to make some technical budget fixes. Civil Beat.

After Embezzling To Fund ‘Luxurious Lifestyle,’ Former Nonprofit Exec Begs For Leniency. Prosecutors are asking a federal judge to send Hanalei Aipoalani to prison. Aipoalani is hoping for home confinement. Civil Beat.

Text messages implicate Higa in federal embezzlement case. Text messages between Stacy Higa and a former associate who pleaded guilty to a scheme to embezzle $600,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds show Higa allegedly offering to teach the associate how to “launder money” and “funnel cash.” The text messages were filed by federal prosecutors Friday in U.S. District Court in anticipation of sentencing scheduled today for Hanalei Aipoalani, 42, former City and County of Honolulu Department of Community Services grant administrator for coronavirus relief funding. West Hawaii Today.

Children 5 to 11 not eligible for July 8 vaccine exemption. Hawaii next week will lift travel restrictions for domestic travelers who have been vaccinated on the mainland, but keiki under 12 must still test negative for COVID-19 prior to arrival. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s Board Of Education Is In Limbo As Ige Stays Mum On Vacancies. New faces are expected to join the Hawaii Board of Education soon to replace three members whose terms expire Wednesday, but it’s not clear who will be filling at least one of those vacancies. Civil Beat.

Lawmakers fight for teacher bonuses, funding for Hawaii’s education system. A bill that would give $2,200 bonuses to Hawaii public school teachers is now on Gov. Ige’s intent to veto list. KHON2.

Hawaii Has Millions In Rental Assistance To Hand Out But Not Enough Takers. County officials are trying to get the word out that rent help is available and process applications as the end of the eviction moratorium looms. Civil Beat.

Hawaii to offer cash prizes, extend COVID vaccination campaign into August. As Hawaii’s pace of vaccination against the coronavirus continues to fall, the state is extending its incentive campaign to persuade more Hawaii residents to get vaccinated, this time adding cash to the list of prizes that have included trips to Las Vegas, HawaiianMiles and Zippy’s meals for a year. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Ige expresses concern about pockets of COVID cases among unvaccinated. Hawaii’s COVID cases have been relatively stable over the last three weeks, averaging about 40 a day. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii reports 33 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths. Of the new cases, 19 were on Oahu, three on Hawaii Island, and eight on Maui. There were also three residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


New Study: Oahu Freeways Deliver The Roughest Rides In The Country. But the state’s DOT deputy director says the new report from a D.C.-based research group doesn’t tell the whole story. Civil Beat.

Honolulu building-inspection mandate back in spotlight after being waylaid by fire priority. The collapse of a condo building in Florida shines a spotlight on high-rise building safety in the islands. KHON2.

Oahu condo owners struggle to comply with fire safety ordinance. The vast majority of Oahu condominiums are failing a safety evaluation required when no automatic sprinkler system is in place, prompting condo owners and associations to urge the Honolulu City Council to amend a mandate they say could cause bankruptcy. Star-Advertiser.

Fees for nonresidents at Hanauma Bay will more than double. Starting Thursday, the entrance fee to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve will more than double for nonlocal visitors, rising to $25 from $12 per person age 13 and above, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation has announced. Star-Advertiser. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Task force underway to address safety concerns, management for Ewa Beach roadway. The state and city are working to create a task force to figure out how to manage and police a busy roadway in Ewa Beach that’s raising illegal dumping and safety concerns. Hawaii News Now.

EPA: Pearl Harbor water plant “exceeds discharge limits” under Clean Water Act. The US Environmental Protection Agency announced a Federal Facility Compliance Agreement with the US Navy to complete major upgrades to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Wastewater Treatment Plant today.  Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

State to close Maunawili Falls Trail for improvements, preservation of cultural sites. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources will be closing Maunawili Falls Trail in an effort to preserve historic cultural sites along the hike. The Windward Oahu trail will be closed beginning in mid-July. Hawaii News Now.

Despite Hawaii’s hot housing market, average sales prices plunge at Trump Tower Waikiki. During the 2019 tourism boom, condominiums at the Trump International Tower in Waikiki sold for an average of about $1.7 million. Since then, average sales prices in the tower have fallen below $650,000 ― despite the hot housing market in the islands. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii County

‘Amazing’ hula ready for prime time. The dancing is pau at the 2021 Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition, and all that’s left is the delayed broadcast of the event Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tribune-Herald.

Next phase of Bayfront Trails pushed back. The Hilo Bayfront Trails is a decade-long plan to build nearly six miles of public pedestrian trails connecting the Hilo Bayfront to Hilo Harbor and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

West Hawaiʻi State Parks To Close Early On July 4th. The DLNR Division of State Parks will close several Kona and Kohala parks at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 4th. Big Island Video News.


Short-Term Rental Home Caps Scheduled for Discussion in Committee. A bill that seeks to lower the cap on short-term rental home permits on Maui from 328 to 259 and to establish a cap of 19 on Lānaʻi will be considered by the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee on Thursday at 9 a.m. Maui Now.

After more than 30 years of service, Maui fire chief to retire. After a more than 30-year career at the Maui Fire Department, Chief David Thyne will be retiring. Hawaii News Now.

Issues, possible remedies discussed for Hana Highway. Establishing a parking enforcement task force, addressing social media influencers and towing illegally parked vehicles were some of the simpler possible remedies mentioned Monday to deal with the “health and safety crisis” on the congested Hana Highway. Maui News.

Battle might not be pau over Maui stream water. A day after the state Commission on Water Resource Management issued a historic decision in the long-running dispute over Maui stream water, the groups who started the legal action 17 years ago were expressing concern about a document they said is flawed. Star-Advertiser.


Tourism industry needs more workers. Kaua‘i’s tourism industry can’t find people to work. According to a state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations report, the county had an 11.3% unemployment rate in May, the highest in the state. The statewide rate in May was 7.5%. Garden Island.

‘We’re a houseless community’. Today, Salt Pond Beach Park will close for maintenance, shutting down the county’s pandemic-era Shelter-In-Place permitted camping program for the houseless. Garden Island.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Distance learning discontinued for Hawaii schoolchildren, Maui mayor seeks fewer tourists, Amazon buys Oahu property, harbor tax increase will hit consumers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from video
Schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Limited distance-learning options next fall for public school students. There will be no full distance-learning option for Hawaii public school students when classes begin Aug. 3, although schools may be able to accommodate requests from high-risk families on an individual case basis. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald.

Outgoing DOE Superintendent Plans To Stay In Hawaii. Christina Kishimoto, the outgoing superintendent of Hawaii Department of Education schools, is exploring career avenues outside of educational administration and has no immediate plans to leave the Aloha State after her contract is up July 30, she said Monday. Civil Beat.

Survey: 84% of staff at long-term care facilities in Hawaii are fully vaccinated. There are nearly 50 long-term care facilities across the state, and experts say they’re setting the tone in the fight against COVID-19. Hawaii News Now.

State harbor user fee going up, what does that mean for consumers? The state says the scheduled 3% tariff increase or “user fee” for activities such as port entry and vessel dockage goes into effect on July 1. KHON2.

Hawaii offshore wind farm development in doldrums. Hawaii has long been a national leader in solar energy production, but the state is lagging in a quest to reach a renewable-energy frontier that appeared to be on the horizon several years ago. Star-Advertiser.

Broadband expansion programs advance.
Several programs aimed at improving broadband access statewide are steadily taking shape, a state official said Monday. Star-Advertiser.

U.S. government opens comment period for proposed recategorizing of endangered Hawaiian bird. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period for the proposed downlisting of the Hawaiian stilt, or ae‘o, from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Star-Advertiser.

James Campbell Co. retains new CEO, Donald E. Huffner Jr. Huffner, who will start Aug. 1, most recently headed a real estate investment and development firm in Florida. Star-Advertiser.

Some healthcare professionals in Hawaii are concerned about COVID-19 hospitalization numbers.
Healthcare professionals are seeing a disturbing trend in the continued battle against COVID-19. 33 people have been admitted to healthcare facilities so far this month. KITV4.

Hawaii reports 22 new COVID cases; vaccination rate ticks up to 57.6%. Of the new cases, 13 were on Oahu, two on Hawaii Island, and two on Maui. There were also five residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Amazon purchases land on Oahu for Hawaii’s first distribution center. Amazon now owns the 14-acre stretch of land on Auiki Street, and it’s worth more than $76 million. The company says this investment will help with future network needs. KHON2.

HART's Lori Kahikina Talks Rail Progress, Calls Dillingham Utilities a 'Spaghetti Noodle Mess' e Honolulu rail project, planned to stretch from Kapolei to Ala Moana, is moving toward the critical final leg through Honolulu's urban core. Hawaii Public Radio.

City conducts surveys for feedback about Storm Water Master Plan. The City and County of Honolulu is now collecting input from the public as it develops a Storm Water Master Plan, designed to guide management, programs and investments for the next 50 years. Star-Advertiser.

Harsher penalties wanted for landlords, renters who house illegal gambling rooms. HPD says it's monitoring anywhere between 60 to 80 active game rooms, but the actual number is believed to be much higher. KITV4.

How Hawaii Schools Are Weaving Connections With Pacific Islander Students. A new arts pilot program at two Honolulu-area middle schools demonstrates how cultural programming can foster better ties. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Search to begin for new HR chief. Hawaii County is in search of a new Human Resources director after the resignation of Bill Brilhante, who leaves his post Thursday to work in his family’s business. West Hawaii Today.

VA audit finds upkeep at Hilo’s veterans cemeteries lacking, seeks review of all in state. In Hawaii County, Hilo’s two veterans cemeteries and West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery are maintained by the county Department of Parks and Recreation. Tribune-Herald.

Manao sought on mooring plans for manta viewing sites. Public comment is being sought by the state on plans to install day-use mooring bouys at two popular manta ray diving sites off the Kona Coast. West Hawaii Today.


Maui mayor’s appeal to airlines: At least for now, please bring us fewer visitors. To combat overtourism and congestion at the airports, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking airline officials to reduce passenger capacity to the island. Hawaii News Now.

In historic decision, commission fundamentally changes water distribution system in West Maui. In a historic decision and ruling over water rights in West Maui, the distribution system that was controlled by sugar plantations for decades is finally changing. The Hawaii Commission on Water Resources Management came up with the plan to manage the Waihe’e River, Waiehu Stream, Wailuku River and Waikapu Stream. Hawaii News Now.

Retired Judge Rhonda Loo Installs MEO Board of Directors for 2021-22. At the first in-person, socially distanced board meeting since the pandemic began in late March 2020, the slate of officers was approved by the 21-member board. The officers for the upcoming fiscal year are: Bard Peterson, president; Carol Reimann, vice president; Adele Rugg, secretary; and Cliff Alakai, treasurer. Maui Now.

Supreme Court Decision Came Too Late For Maui Residents Fighting Housing Development. The ruling could have statewide implications, as it narrows the limits of what planning and zoning exemptions are permissible for a fast-track affordable housing development. Civil Beat.

County Joins Police in Removing 41 Vehicles Abandoned Near Kanahā in Kahului, Maui. The Maui Police Department and Maui County’s Department of Environmental Management’s Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division have joined forces to remove 41 abandoned vehicles from Amala Place roadsides near Kanahā Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary and the County’s Wailuku-Kahului Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Kahului. Maui Now. KHON2.


DOH investigates 2 clusters. In the last two weeks, the state Department of Health has identified two active COVID-19 clusters on Kaua‘i, one associated with a restaurant and another a place of worship. Garden Island.

Hui to assume management of Ha‘ena State Park. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a one-year, revocable permit for the nonprofit Hui Maka‘ainana o Makana to oversee and manage a park-reservation system, including collecting both parking and entry fees as well as an integrated shuttle system that will reduce the number of cars that enter the park each day. Garden Island.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Hawaii businesses struggle to accommodate tourism wave, Tui to head teachers' union, 3 vie for Maui House seat, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Waikiki at night ©2021 All Hawaii News

Hawaii businesses, tourists struggle with pandemic-induced changes. Overall visitor satisfaction during the pandemic is trending downward as more arrive in the islands, according to the Visitor COVID-19 study, an online survey conducted in June for the Hawaii Tourism Authority by Anthology Group. Star-Advertiser.

Osa Tui Jr., the new head of Hawaii teachers’ union, has different approach. Corey Rosenlee, the outgoing president of the teachers’ union, has been an outspoken, assertive and activist leader, eager to take a stand and do battle on behalf of his members. His successor, Osa Tui Jr., is equally passionate about the Hawaii State Teachers Association, but he is cut from a different cloth. Star-Advertiser.

VA Wants A Review Of Hawaii’s Veterans Cemeterie
s After Finding Two In Rough Shape. VA inspectors found “critical deficiencies” at veterans cemeteries on the Big Island and Maui. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i DOH: “Delta” Variant Expected to Become Dominant Strain in a Month. The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is expected to double every two weeks, and will likely become the dominant variant in the islands in about a month or so, according to Hawai‘i Department of Health State Laboratories Division Administrator Dr. Edward Desmond. Maui Now.  KHON2.

With vaccination rate at just over 57%, Hawaii sees 51 new COVID cases. Of the new cases, 23 were on Oahu, 13 on Hawaii Island, seven on Maui, three on Kauai and five were out of state. Hawaii News Now.


Uncertainty remains for rail project, board chairman. State Sen. Kurt Fevella today plans to follow up with federal and state officials on his request that they investigate the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on various issues while the troubled rail project continues to face uncertainty and a $3 billion budget deficit. Star-Advertiser.

Another Questionable Million-Dollar Honolulu Rail Contract?
Documents suggest a contract for federal lobbying services was already a done deal before it was put out to bid. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Officers Charged In Police Shooting Appear In Court.
Hundreds of police union members and other supporters gathered at an early morning rally outside the downtown courthouse. Civil Beat. Associated Press. Hawaii News Now.

Why Oahu Neighborhoods Have Such Sharp Differences In Vaccination Rates. The North Shore and West Oahu lag significantly behind other parts of the island in terms of COVID-19 vaccination rates. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Hawaii cruises to resume. After 15 months in dry dock because of the coronavirus pandemic, the passenger cruise industry is gearing up to make Hawaii port calls before the end of the year. Tribune-Herald.

County decades behind on ADA compliance at parks. Almost a quarter-century after Big Island resident Alexa Russell sued Hawaii County to enforce Americans With Disabilities Act mandates in county parks, only six of the 16 facilities the county agreed to upgrade have been done, and the County Council will be asked to float $25.5 million in bonds to pay for the rest. West Hawaii Today.

Accepted by default: BLNR’s tie vote opens the door for aquarium fishing EIS. A revised final environmental impact statement proposing the reopening of West Hawaii’s coastal waters to aquarium fishing is poised to gain acceptance from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. West Hawaii Today.

Public Works in talks with contractor to finish Kalanianaole Avenue work. Hawaii County Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst said Friday that his department has been negotiating with contractor Goodfellow Bros. for the past several months to get the project — which was once scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018 — back on track. Tribune-Herald.


Three names emerge for DeCoite’s former seat. A former Maui County Council member, a Hana activist and a former Peace Corps member are among those interested in filling former state Rep. Lynn DeCoite’s House District 13 seat. Maui News.

Ongoing Complaints Along Maui’s Scenic Hāna Highway Lead to 387 Parking Citations. The Maui Police Department issued 387 parking citations and 83 warnings to violators on Hāna Highway between Haʻikū and Hāna town over a three week period from June 1 and June 23. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Committee to Discuss Hāna Traffic Management and South Maui Wastewater. The Infrastructure and Transportation Committee will meet Monday at 9 a.m. to receive presentations on nature-based wastewater solutions for South Maui and challenges related to traffic management on the Road to Hāna. Maui Now.

Recording devices to be used in study of spinner dolphins. Scientists have dropped listening devices into the water at some of Hawaii’s best sheltered bays for a study that aims to better understand spinner dolphins and how humans might be affecting them. Star-Advertiser.


Haena State Park to be managed by community-based nonprofits. After 20 years of private management, the state Board of Land and Natural Resources approved a community-based management structure to oversee Haena State Park on Kauai. Hawaii News Now.

Crowded beach parks studied.
The county has allocated funding to perform a parking study at Po‘ipu, Lydgate and Hanalei’s Black Pot beach parks. Garden Island.

Appointments still needed for motor-vehicle, licensing services. The county Department of Finance reminds customers of current procedures when visiting the Lihu‘e Civic Center Kapule Building for drivers licenses and motor-vehicle services. Garden Island.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Hawaii to lift restrictions for vaccinated U.S. travelers, local sentiment against tourists worsens, Ige signs electric vehicle legislation, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Locals Mostly T-shirt in Hilo June 17, 2021 ©2021 All Hawaii News
Hawaii resident sentiment toward tourism worsens, but majority believe issues are worth it. Only 53% of respondents said tourism has brought more benefits than problems in the 2021 HTA Resident Sentiment Survey conducted by Omnitrak and released by the Hawaii Tourism Authority today. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Will Lift Restrictions For Vaccinated US Travelers On July 8. Hawaii will lift quarantine and pre-travel testing requirements for domestic travelers from the mainland who can show proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination early next month, Gov. David Ige said Thursday. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Electric Vehicles Supported In Latest Hawaiʻi Bill Signings. Governor David Ige on Thursday signed three house bills into law that shared a common electrification of transportation theme. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Ige signs women’s caucus bills and other measures.
Gov. David Ige on Thursday signed a slew of bills into law, including legislation from the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus. Tribune-Herald.

Gutted with a Rusty Scalpel. A bill Gov. David Ige is threatening to veto and one he signed are the “winners” of this year’s Rusty Scalpel award from two public-interest groups. West Hawaii Today.

Remains from the USS Oklahoma that could not be ID’d will be reinterred at Punchbowl. At least 51 unidentified crew members of the USS Oklahoma were returned to Hickam Field on Thursday — and while no families were there to rejoice over the identification of a relative, as has been the case for 343 other crew mainly in recent years — the U.S. military gave the Dec. 7, 1941, heroes full honors. Star-Advertiser.

Hawai´i Vacation Rental Demand Surges in May. The total monthly supply of statewide vacation rentals was 572,900 unit nights (+71.8%) and monthly demand was 413,500 unit nights (+988.5%) over the course of the month. That resulted in an average monthly unit occupancy of 72.2 percent (+60.8 percentage points) for May, which was higher than the occupancy of Hawai´i’s hotels (61.5%). Big Island Now.

Matson Inc. ups dividend 30%, approves share buyback.
Matson Inc., the state’s largest ocean transportation firm, announced Thursday a 30.4% increase in its dividend and said its board has approved a share repurchase program totaling 3 million shares. Star-Advertiser.

Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems to receive federal funding. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced Thursday that Papa Ola Lokahi, a nonprofit organization that advocates for and coordinates health care for Native Hawaiians, and the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems will receive a total of $18.2 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

More Than Half Of Hawaii’s Inmates Have Been Vaccinated Against COVID-19. But a breakdown of individual facilities shows mixed results, with 89% inoculated at the Kulani Correctional Facility and 23% at the jail in Hilo. Civil Beat.

Hawaii cluster report highlights COVID-19 transmission in places of worship. The Hawaii Department of Health’s COVID-19 cluster report this week focuses on outbreaks in places of worship due to two clusters under investigation on Oahu and Kauai. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 55 new COVID cases; no additional fatalities.
Of the new cases, 29 were on Oahu, 10 were on Maui, seven were on Kauai, six were on Hawaii Island, and one was reported on Molokai. There were also two residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Another Questionable Million-Dollar Honolulu Rail Contract? Documents suggest a contract for federal lobbying services was already a done deal before it was put out to bid. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department push for more recruits.
The Honolulu Police Department is looking for qualified candidates to shore up staffing, increase officer safety and help fill 279 vacancies that cost the city more than $2.5 million in overtime expenses in a single quarter. Star-Advertiser.

HDOT Changes Plans For Farrington Highway Bypass After Community Protests. There is new hope for residents hoping to reroute Farrington Highway makai of Makaha Beach Park. Civil Beat.

Oahu driver licensing centers, satellite city halls to extend hours to meet demand. Driver licensing centers around Oahu will extend their hours starting July 1 to meet a growing demand for driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and state identification cards. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Fireworks, Other July 4th Celebrations Back on Big Island. The County of Hawaiʻi Department of Parks and Recreation on Thursday announced this year’s Fourth of July celebrations in Hilo and Kailua-Kona. Big Island Now.

EA For Kona Manta Viewing Site Moorings Open For Comment. The State of Hawaiʻi is planning to reconfigure and install additional day-use moorings at two popular manta viewing sites along the Kona coast. Big Island Video News.


Stage 1 Water Shortage Declaration for Upcountry Maui Takes Effect July 2.  Beginning July 2, the department will prohibit Upcountry water consumers from using water for irrigation, watering lawns, washing vehicles or other nonessential activities. Maui Now.

Maui County’s Vacation Rental Occupancy Increases to 75% for May.
In May 2021, Maui County had the largest vacation rental supply of all four Hawaiian counties with 234,400 available unit nights, with an occupancy rate of 75%, according to the latest Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority Report on vacation rental performance. Maui Now.

Kahului Park Playground closes because of ‘deterioration of play features’.
Kahului Park Playground on Maui is closed effective immediately because of the “deterioration of the play features,” the County of Maui’s Department of Parks and Recreation announced today. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Maui restaurant with red DOH placard opts to close shop for good. Pizza in Paradise in Kahului was closed back in May for unsanitary conditions. During a routine inspection, health inspectors found live maggots in a pot of old food, roaches in the kitchen, and piles of customer trash. Hawaii News Now.


KPD graduates six in 94th recruit class. The Kaua‘i Police Department held a small outdoor ceremony on Thursday for its 94th Police Recruit Class graduates. Garden Island.

Kaua‘i Museum new exhibit hall dedicated to Maryanne Kusaka. In a surprise move by the Kaua‘i Museum Board of Trustees, the museum’s new exhibit hall was dedicated Waimakua in honor of Kusaka, who is the current head of the Trustees. Garden Island.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Medical facilities mull employee vaccination mandate, protesters demand police-killing investigations, Kauai tapping into budget reserves due to state withholding TAT, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki Aquarium ©2021 All Hawaii News

Historic Waikiki Aquarium prepares to reopen after temporary closure amid coronavirus pandemic.
It has been over one year since guests have walked through the doors at the Waikiki Aquarium. KHON2.

Ige: Lack Of Public Input Is Driving Concerns Over Bills
— And Possible Vetoes. When Gov. David Ige announced Monday he plans to veto 28 bills approved by the Legislature this year, he aimed some extra criticism at a number of measures he said lawmakers passed without giving the public enough opportunity to provide input. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s National Guard Begins Winding Down Its COVID-19 Response Teams. Federal funding is set to expire in September, and Gov. David Ige has asked commanders to draft plans scaling back operations. Civil Beat.

Hawaii medical facilities weigh whether to require coronavirus vaccine for employment. Hawaii medical facilities weigh whether to require coronavirus vaccine for employment. The head of the Hawaii Nurses Association said they are prepared to discuss the matter with employers as more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are becoming available. KHON2.

As COVID forced businesses online, governor works to advance Hawaii’s digital economy. As the pandemic forced Hawaii to adopt a digital economy much faster than expected, Gov. David Ige admitted Wednesday that the transition wasn’t perfect. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiʻi Wants to Improve and Expand Its Digital Economy. Gov. David Ige gathered with members from Technology Readiness User Evaluation to discuss expanding technology usage in the community. The TRUE Initiative discussed how Hawaiʻi should have a higher digital literacy to keep up with the global economy. Hawaii Public Radio.

High tech help available to go digital. Local businesses share their success with high tech upgrades, to encourage others to join the digital economy. KITV4.

How Hawaii’s Remote Worker Initiative Connects Students To Industry Pros. A volunteer project connected to the Movers & Shakas program led to paid internship opportunities for some public high school students. Civil Beat.

High-tide coastal flooding in Hawaii and other U.S. coastal regions to accelerate. Hawaii and other U.S. coastal regions will experience an accelerating number of high-tide flooding days starting in the mid-2030s, according to a newly published study. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii reports 42 new cases; 57% of residents have been vaccinated. Of the new cases, 24 were on Oahu, 11 were on Hawaii Island, two were on Maui, and one was on Kauai. There were also four residents diagnosed out-of-state. Hawaii News Now.


Protesters demand investigations into more than 30 alleged killings by Honolulu police officers. In response to the alleged killing of more than 30 suspects by police since 2010, about 40-50 protesters marched on Honolulu police headquarters Wednesday and demanded independent investigations into the deaths. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu taxpayers could be on the hook for more legal fees for another police shooting from 2019. City taxpayers could be on the hook to pay more legal fees for Honolulu Police Department officers who were involved in a fatal shooting that occurred in 2019. KHON2.

Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals on Honolulu Streets Draw Attention From Tax Department, Neighbors. Complaints about tourists picking up peer-to-peer car rentals in local neighborhoods have the state Department of Taxation taking note. Hawaii Public Radio.

This North Shore Community Has Had Enough Of Towering Wind Turbines. But clean energy advocates and power producers are pushing back against new Honolulu City Council proposals meant to protect communities from large wind energy projects. Civil Beat.

Clean Air Act violations lead to nearly $200K for a Kapolei power plant. A coal plant in Kapolei will pay nearly $200,000 in a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA fined AES Hawaii for violations of the Clean Air Act and emergency planning, along with the Community Right-to-Know Act. Hawaii News Now.

Dillingham Airfield future still up in the air with eviction date pushed to December. The eviction date for Dillingham Airfield tenants has been pushed back another six months as lease negotiations continue between the U.S. Army and the Department of Transportation Airports Division. KHON2.

Hawaii Island

State AG repudiates lawsuit over HCCC outbreak. State Attorney General Clare Connors responded Wednesday to a federal class-action lawsuit filed by 11 Hawaii inmates — including five at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo — over conditions and practices in jails and prisons the plaintiffs claim caused COVID-19 outbreaks. Tribune-Herald.

Retired Hilo police detective avoids jail time in assault cases. The charges were dropped in exchange for no contest pleas entered on Dec. 30 to third-degree assault in connection with a May 25, 2020, domestic incident in which the victim was Ian Lee Loy’s wife, County Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy, and to misdemeanor harassment for a July 25, 2019, assault on Neal Tanaka, the county Building Division’s acting deputy chief. Tribune-Herald.

Alii Drive condo heads to contested case hearing. A proposal to build a five-story condominium on Alii Drive is heading to a contested case hearing after three neighbors petitioned the Leeward Planning Commission. West Hawaii Today.

PUC asks state, county for input on PGV. Months after suspending an application for an amended power purchase agreement between Hawaiian Electric and Puna Geothermal Venture — pending the completion of a supplemental environmental review — the state Public Utilities Commission is seeking input from both Hawaii County and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

HPP road project gets green light to proceed. A controversial road project in Hawaiian Paradise Park has been delayed, but subdivision officials say work will proceed, despite some community opposition. Tribune-Herald.


Sustainability drives talks on reforming visitor industry. While local leaders have different ideas of how tourism should look moving forward, many agree on one thing — Maui is overwhelmed. Maui News.

Fee for tourists, free for locals. Another Maui hotspot eyes tourism controls. Another hotspot for visitors on Maui’s North Shore is once again being overwhelmed. Hawaii News Now.

Virtual power plant coming to Maui and other islands. Energy Conference covers new green energy program with HECO. Maui News.

Haleakalā Crater Wilderness Cabins and Reservations System Open July 1. Visitors will soon be able to reserve and stay overnight in the cabins located in Haleakalā Crater. Reservations for wilderness cabins Hōlua and Kapalaoa go live on beginning July 1, 2021 at 7 a.m. HST. Maui Now.

UH Maui College Vaccination Effort Features Giveaway for Tuition, Laptop. The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College announced that vaccinated members of the campus’ ʻohana are eligible to win free tuition for the fall semester or a MacBook Air. Maui Now.


County tapping into reserves to cover TAT.
Since March 2020, the county has tapped into at least 40% of its reserve fund. Garden Island.

‘Voluntourism’ takes off with Kauai beach cleanup. Kauai’s popular and heavily trafficked Shipwreck’s Beach, where surf forms in front of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and peels past long white sands to the cliffs at Makawehi Point and the start of the Mahaulepu Heritage Trail, is slated for a cleanup on July 7. Star-Advertiser.

KCSC, others, continue to benefit from ‘Rise to Work’ program. Nonprofits, including Kaua‘i Community Science Center in Waimea, joined the county’s “Rise to Work” program in April, which was relaunched by the county’s Office of Economic Development. Garden Island.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Hawaii travel restrictions still up in the air, Delta variant spreads, special session mulled to consider vetoes, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2021 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Waikiki sunset with airplane © 2021 All Hawaii News

Ige: Hawaii Unlikely To Ease Travel Restrictions Ahead Of July 4 As Vaccinations Slow. Lt. Gov. Josh Green had publicly urged the governor to end the pre-travel testing requirement on July 1. Civil Beat.

$144 million in new federal funding from the American Rescue Plan is coming to the state for various airports. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) said the new funding, signed into law in March, will help support airports that have experienced severe economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Delta variant of coronavirus spreading in Hawaii. The delta variant of the coronavirus, which has quickly become the dominant strain in other countries and can cause more severe illness, is now spreading in Hawaii, prompting state heath officials Tuesday to once again urge Hawaii residents to get vaccinated not just to protect themselves, but the broader community, including young children who aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Garden Island. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Special legislative session still up in air over veto list. It is still not clear whether there will be a special session for the state Legislature to address the 28 measures Gov. David Ige intends to veto, the most he has ever considered since taking office in 2014. Star-Advertiser.

Russia details exercise near Hawaii to destroy a carrier strike group. The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a recap of its naval and air exercise off Hawaii that it practiced “destroying the aircraft carrier strike group of the mock enemy” and delivering a simulated strike with cruise missiles against “critically important” military infrastructure. Star-Advertiser.

Fishing council votes to ban wire leaders. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council is recommending the prohibition of wire leaders for Hawaii’s deep-set longline fishery to protect the oceanic whitetip shark, and now that the U.S. has made the move to protect the species, advocates hope that it will persuade international agencies to do the same. Star-Advertiser.

Many UH Students Struggled With Hunger And Homelessness Last Year. The university is developing a master plan to help address economic challenges undergraduates are facing. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio.

June 22, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 20 Cases. The confirmed cases included: four on Hawai‘i Island (+1 probable); 10 on O‘ahu (-1 probable); one on Kaua‘i; and one in a Hawai‘i resident diagnosed while out of state (+1 probable).  Maui Now.


State senator Kurt Fevella seeks federal and state investigations into rail project. State Senate Minority Leader Kurt Fevella has asked the FBI, Federal Transit Administration and state Attorney General’s Office to investigate the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation on a variety of alleged violations and “possible criminal acts” committed by HART board Chairman Toby Martyn based on media reports. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Ethics Commission fines former principal for improper cash advances, including to his wife. The state Ethics Commission has fined the former principal of the Ka Waihona o Ka Naauao Public Charter School $4,000 for improper cash payments, including to his wife. Hawaii News Now.

Chinatown medical outreach to expand on Oahu with new van. A team of health care professionals and volunteers that treats the medical needs of Chinatown’s homeless twice a week has now been augmented with a colorfully painted new Nissan van that will deploy next month to Oahu’s North Shore, Leeward Coast and Central Oahu to expand medical aid to even more of the island’s homeless and medically needy. Star-Advertiser.

Halawa Correctional Facility has 9 new cases of COVID-19, all recently transferred inmates from Hilo jail. The Halawa Correctional Facility had nine positive COVID-19 test results out of 20 inmates tested, the Department of Public Safety said in a news release this afternoon. Star-Advertiser.

Residents say it’s impossible to book a spot with City’s new online reservation system for Hanauma Bay. There is growing frustration over the City’s new online reservation system for Hanauma Bay.  KHON2.

Hawaii Island

DOH: 49% of Big Island population vaccinated for COVID-19. More than 216,150 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered on the Big Island, with nearly 6,000 of those shots going into arms since June 16. West Hawaii Today.

Delta virus variant found on the Big Island. A strain of COVID-19 first detected in India and identified in Hawaii earlier this month has been found on the Big Island, the state Department of Health said Tuesday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Video News.

Keauhou Aquifer plan heads to County Council. Despite population growth, West Hawaii has actually been using less water than was projected in a 2017 plan designed to protect the Keauhou Aquifer. West Hawaii Today.

Road outrage: Councilwomen decries delayed construction ‘nightmare’ on Kalanianaole. Hilo Councilwoman Sue Lee Loy wrote a letter to the news media on behalf of Keaukaha residents urging that the county administration finally complete a “wearisome” and “nightmare” construction on Kalanianaole Avenue that has been ongoing for more than three years. Tribune-Herald.

‘Inhumane’ conditions at HCCC trigger lawsuit as outbreak continues. A former pretrial detainee at Hawaii Community Correctional Center disputes Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s statement that an outbreak of COVID-19 at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo is because of the reluctance of inmates to be vaccinated. Tribune-Herald.


State Supreme Court upholds ruling invalidating Kahoma Village permit.
The Hawaii State Supreme Court has upheld a decision by a lower court invalidating a permit for Kahoma Village, a workforce housing project already built in Lahaina. Maui News. KITV4.

Maui Social Host Ordinance Aims to Reduce Underage Drinking, Set to Take Effect Sept. 1. The ordinance, which was passed through the Maui County Council in February, holds adults liable for illegal underage drinking on their property. Maui Now.

Amid a tourism boom, Maui considers feasibility of ‘visitor impact fee’. Keanae, an old Hawaiian village in east Maui off the Road to Hana, was once considered a hidden gem. But now it is a must-see stop for countless visitors. Hawaii News Now.

Residents: No parking signs, lack of enforcement amplify Hana Hwy. problems. Sightseers often park illegally along Hana Highway in East Maui, which residents say is causing hazards and headaches for many drivers. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Airports to Receive $31.8 Million to Support Pandemic Recovery. Maui Now.

Maui County’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 10.4% for May 2021, State’s at 7.5%. Maui County’s unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for May 2021 fell to 10.4%, a decrease of 0.8% from last month, according to data just released today by the Hawai‘i State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations. Maui Now.


Despite drop, Kaua‘i’s jobless rate still highest in the state. As the state Department of Labor &Industrial Relations Tuesday announced that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 8.1% compared to 8.5% in April, Kaua‘i’s unemployment rate has continued to drop also, and was down to 11.3% in May of 2021. Garden Island.

Lawsuit Challenges Kauai’s Termination Of Youth Drug Treatment Contract. Hope Treatment Services says Kauai County prevented it from meeting a deadline to open the inpatient drug treatment center. Civil Beat.

FAA: $14M to Lihu‘e Airport. A cut of federal funding will deliver $14.5 million to the Lihu‘e Airport. Garden Island.


Lanai’s Newspaper Is Now Owned By The Company That Owns Lanai.
The sale of Lanai Today to billionaire Larry Ellison is raising concerns about journalistic integrity. But it may have saved Lanai from becoming a news desert. Civil Beat.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ige may veto 28 bills, Green pushes for COVID travel clarity, Russian warships come within 30 miles of Hawaii, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Gov. David Ige talks about veto list Monday PC:Governor's Office

Gov. David Ige to veto budget, teacher bonuses. Gov. David Ige announced Monday his intention to veto up to 28 bills passed by the legislature this year, including the state budget, teacher bonuses and a requirement to disclose the name of public schools with COVID-19 cases. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.

Local-option TAT among 28 bills Ige may veto.
Gov. David Ige has included on his list of 28 legislative measures for possible veto a bill taking away the counties’ share of the tax on hotel rooms and short-term rentals. West Hawaii Today. Star-Advertiser.

Green wants COVID rules for U.S. visitors updated before July 4 to avoid ‘chaos’. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green is urging the state to commit to dropping its COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated mainland visitors ahead of the Fourth of July weekend to avoid “chaos at the airports.” Star-Advertiser.

North American travelers lift state’s hotel occupancy. Travel demand from North American travelers is bolstering Hawaii’s travel industry, but the absence of international travelers is still hampering recovery for some members. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

Domestic business improves for Hawaiian Airlines, but international travel still grounded. During a livestreamed interview Monday, Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram said the number of people traveling to Hawaii is returning to normal and has, in some cases, even surpassed pre-pandemic rates. Tribune-Herald.

Advocates Concerned About Hawai‘i's Decline in Child Well-Being Ranking. Hawaiʻi children are falling behind—that's according to the latest Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a report highlighting the well-being of children across the country. Hawaii Public Radio. Maui Now.

Child sex trafficking appears to be on the rise in Hawaii. The demand for support services for children involved in sex trafficking or those in danger of exploitation has quadrupled during the pandemic. KITV4.

Military: Russian ships came within 30 nautical miles of Hawaii during exercise. Russian naval exercise ends as spy ship remains in Hawaii area. A Russian naval and air exercise off Hawaii that Moscow said was its largest drills in the Pacific since the end of the Cold War and involved surface ships, anti-submarine aircraft and long-range bombers, has ended, but a Russian spy ship remains in the Hawaii operating area, according to a variety of sources. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawai‘i Daily Virus Average Drops to Lowest Total This Year
. The state’s two-week average is 39 new cases daily, with a test positivity rate of 1.1%. Big Island Now.

June 21, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 14 Cases; State Vaccination Rate Now 57%. The confirmed cases included: two on Hawai‘i Island (-1 probable); 11 on O‘ahu (+1 probable); Kaua‘i (-1 probable); and two in a Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state. Maui Now.


State slaps TheBus with big fine for not properly training workers on COVID cleaning sprays. The state Occupational Safety and Health branch has fined TheBus more than $26,000 for not properly training workers who used coronavirus cleaning sprays. Hawaii News Now.

New beach could come to Waikiki as part of improvement and maintenance proposal. Behind the Halekulani Hotel and Sheraton Waikiki there could be a new beach coming in a few years. It’s all a part of the Department of Land and Natural Resource’s proposed Waikiki beach improvement and maintenance program. KHON2.

Meeting to address plan for Makaha Beach bridges. Following public opposition to replacing two eroded, 1937 wooden bridges on Farrington Highway at Makaha Beach with concrete bridges, and adding a temporary bypass road across the beach closer to the sea, the Hawaii Department of Transportation has modified its plan. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Veterans Bid Emotional Farewell To Coast Guard Ship Getting ‘New Life’ In Vietnam. The ship’s public decommissioning ceremony was called off due to COVID-19 last year, but it made a port call in Honolulu last week. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Staff, inmates describe deplorable conditions in Hilo jail. Staff and inmates at a Hilo jail that has been jolted by a major COVID outbreak have described harrowing conditions inside the facility, including cramped conditions that reek of human waste and a complete breakdown of safety protocols in statements taken as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit filed against the state and Hawaii Department of Public Safety alleging a gross failure to protect inmates from the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser.

Waipiʻo Valley To Close To Non-Residents July 4th Weekend. Guards will be positioned at the top of the road throughout the weekend to ensure compliance, a County news release stated. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. KITV4.

Brown Water Advisory Issued For Kona Shoreline. The public is advised to stay out of flood waters and storm water runoff following recent heavy rains in the area. Big Island Video News.


Tourists Are Back In Force On Hana Highway. Why Not Charge Them? It would be a simple solution to help reduce neighbor-island traffic — and make life better for the locals there, a UH economist says. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County Hotels Doing Better in May 2021 than May 2019 in Two Categories. Maui County hotels have rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic to the point that revenue per available room in May 2021 was at $314, 19% higher than at same time in 2019 — and the average daily rate was at $467, 35.3% higher than in May 2019, according to the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s latest report on hotel performance. Maui Now.


Waimea 400 parcel discussion continues. The County of Kaua‘i Planning Department hosted its second Waimea 400 Master Plan conceptual alternatives community meeting virtually Thursday. Garden Island.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Ige rethinking COVID restrictions again, parents don't want to send their children back to school, Honolulu councilman's blackface video surfaces, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hanauma Bay, pre-COVID ©2021 All Hawaii News

The Race Is On To Book A Reservation At Hanauma Bay. As county parks implement online reservation websites, Hawaii is talking about creating a statewide system. Civil Beat.

Hawaiian Airlines to Resume Tahiti Service as State Opens Pre-Travel Testing to French Polynesia. Starting June 21, travelers from French Polynesia may bypass the state’s mandatory 10-day quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 test from an approved testing partner. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Hawaii News Now.

Governor says he may lift all COVID restrictions earlier than planned. After defending his push to get to a 70% vaccination rate before lifting all COVID restrictions, Gov. David Ige suggested Thursday he may be changing his mind on the matter. Hawaii News Now.

Frustration Grows Among Hawaii Parents Who Aren’t Ready To Send Their Kids Back To Class. The DOE has mandated that all schools be fully open in the fall, but many families want their kids to still attend classes remotely. Civil Beat.

SNAP, FAP recipients have renewal requirements again. In keeping with federal requirements, the state Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division announced last week that, beginning July 1, the department will resume processing benefit renewals for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and Financial Assistance Programs. Garden Island.

Western Pacific Fishery Management Council considers steps to protect endangered shark. The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, or Wespac, is scheduled this week to decide on potential rule changes that would prohibit the use of wire leaders in Hawaii’s largest fishery and replace them with monofilament nylon leaders. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii records 2 new coronavirus-related deaths, 69 additional cases. Sunday’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 44 new cases on Oahu, 10 on Maui, 13 on Hawaii Island and two on Kauai. Star-Advertiser.


DOJ Issues Target Letter To Former Honolulu Managing Director Amid Ongoing Corruption Probe. Roy Amemiya, who served as city managing director under former Mayor Kirk Caldwell, was already on notice when he received a subject letter last year. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Councilman’s Old Blackface Video Is Raising Concerns
. A 15-year-old comedy skit featuring Augie Tulba in blackface was recently posted on the politician’s Instagram page. Civil Beat.

Power Struggle: A Major Source Of Air Pollution On Oahu Is Also Keeping The Lights On. A new proposal to keep the electric plant operating is drawing strong opposition from clean-energy advocates. Civil Beat.

Homeless in shelters fewest in 10 years.
The 2021 Point-in-Time Count of people living in Oahu homeless shelters showed a significant decrease compared with previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic limiting the amount of available shelter space, to account for social distancing. Star-Advertiser.

Crime falls during pandemic but Honolulu police, officials expect a surge as restrictions continue to ease. Crime in the time of COVID-19 decreased in nearly every category last year, but police, prosecutors and other officials worry about the use of weapons and a possible surge in crime as visitor numbers increase and COVID-19 restrictions ease. Star-Advertiser.

New ideas sought on how to revitalize Chinatown and Aala Park. A new approach is underway to crack down on crime in and around Chinatown and Aala Park — and then pump new and positive life into the area — beginning with a new way to document community ideas and then measure any results. Star-Advertiser.

UH Mānoa Closer to Redeveloping Atherton Building for Multi-Use Housing and Innovation Center. A plan to expand the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus by constructing a mixed-use student housing and innovation center at the intersection of University Avenue and Metcalf Street has moved forward. Hawaii Public Radio.

91 homes planned to be built on farmland in Kahuku. A local contractor has revived a more than decade-old effort to expand rural housing in Kahuku on agricultural land behind the community’s main residential subdivision. Star-Advertiser.

Kamehameha Schools envisions phased redevelopment of Kapalama. Kamehameha Schools has set its sights on what can be seen as first steps to make 104 acres of largely contiguous Kapalama real estate, today dominated by industrial uses, a bit more like Kakaako, with high-rise housing and new retail mixed with light industrial business operations. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sportscaster Robert Kekaula dies at 56, family confirms. Robert Kekaula, whose outsized personality and generosity made him one of Hawaii’s most recognizable personalities, died Saturday morning. He was 56. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Growing Big Island’s ag industry
: Ways and Means Committee chairman pushes leaders to create opportunities. Hawaii lawmakers want to grow and commercialize the Big Island’s agricultural industry to boost the economy, but more and better coordination among private, public and education sectors will be necessary to do so. Tribune-Herald.

Leeward Planning Commission at a crossroads: County Council scrutinizes Roth’s nominees. The spotlight has been on the membership of the Leeward Planning Commission lately, not because of actions they’ve taken, but because of who they are. West Hawaii Today.

KukuiOla homeless village yet to bring construction.
A homeless village first discussed in 2017 and expected to be completed in May has yet to begin construction. West Hawaii Today.

New fire chief responds to fatal police shooting on his street. Hawaii Fire Department Emergency Medical Services personnel responded to two fatal police-involved shootings in Hilo within a week — one June 13 in Wainaku and the second Friday at a vacant Kilauea Avenue home on Hilo’s southern outskirts. Tribune-Herald.

Room to heal: New building for cancer center, second cath lab among HHSC improvement projects. The expansion is just one of several capital improvement projects underway in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation’s East Hawaii Region, which includes HMC. Tribune-Herald.

Out of control: sudden shift in leadership raises concern within Hawaii Rainbow Rangers
. Weeks after transitioning into full services for Hawaii County’s animal control contract, abrupt changes have been made in leadership for the Hawaii Rainbow Rangers. West Hawaii Today.

Large earthquake could set off Mauna Loa Volcano, researchers say. Researchers at the University of Miami in Florida have published a paper that says Mauna Loa could be nearing its next eruption and that a magnitude-6 earthquake or greater could set it off. Star--Advertiser.


Maui Mayor Signs FY 2022 Budget Bill. Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino signed the Fiscal 2022 Budget Bill on Friday, but raised questions about the document that was passed by the Maui County Council. He also returned, unsigned, a bill for pay raises in the Office of Council Services. Maui Now. Maui News.

Moratorium on visitor lodging advances. A hotly debated bill that would pause visitor accommodation development in West and South Maui in order to conduct studies on visitor impacts and updates to community plans passed first reading before the Maui County Council on Friday. Maui News.

Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Helps 250+ Maui Households. More than 250 households are receiving help from Maui County’s Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program. Residents have received more than $675,000 to make overdue rent and utility payments. Maui Now.


County sets aside $2.5M for housing. The money comes from the county’s cut of the federal American Rescue Plan Act, and will pair with about $1.8 million in federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Garden Island.

Waimea 400 parcel discussion continues. The County of Kaua‘i Planning Department hosted its second Waimea 400 Master Plan conceptual alternatives community meeting virtually Thursday. Garden Island.